Here is a picture of Delimart Plaza in Delmas 32, Port-au-Prince, Haiti being looted during a protest over fuel price increase on July 7, 2018.
On Friday, July 6, 2018, when the Haitian Commerce Ministry and Economic Ministry issued a joint statement announcing an increase of 38%, 47% and 51% price for gasoline, diesel, and kerosene respectively, it triggered days of violent civil unrest and demonstrations. Major protests erupted in the country with demonstrators using burning tires and barricades to block major streets across the capital and in the northern city of Cap-Haitien. Dozens of shops were looted and burned and cars were set ablaze. At least four people were killed.
Western Premiere hotel in Petion-Ville was ransacked, banks and stores in Delmas were looted, and many flights were either cancelled or rescheduled.
On Saturday, July 17, 2018, looters pillaged burned and vandalized Delimart Plaza. Delimart Plaza is one of the biggest supermarket chains in the capital city, Port-au-Prince. The superstore was founded by Dr. Reginald Boulos in 2000 who is a medical doctor and former chairman of Intercontinental S.A. Since its foundation the shop kept growing to become the biggest supermarket chain in the entire city. It the best place for quality goods at the lowest price, especially the one at Delmas 32, Delimart is comparable to any Publix or Walmart grocery stores in the U.S as far as the range of products and prices are concerned. However, unfortunately, this shop has been completely destroyed by the violent agitators.
The local management is presently engaged in quantifying the damages, both in financial and human terms. As per news dated, July 11, 2018, the Delimart S.A has announced that their properties located in various locations in Haiti such as in Delmas 32, Delmas 30 and Clercine were looted and some burned. The management has decided to keep their shops closed until further notice. The Directorate General of Delimart is aware of the precarious and difficult situations that will arise due to this closure.
This closure of the stores will severely and lastingly affect hundreds of direct and indirect jobs. The local suppliers will bear the brunt of the negative effects. Moreover, the entire national economy will suffer with the rise of the unemployment rate as about 673 people will lose jobs in the stores due to this indefinite closure.
Here is a Haitian caught by the police during a protest against the election results.
Most Haitians and opposition parties are of opinion that the presidential election of October 25th and its published result are a sure mark of treachery committed by the outgoing President Martelly and his men. Regular protest against this "electoral coup d'état" on the streets has become a regular affair. On one of such similar demonstrations of protest on November 20th, a gang of about 20 hooded men in a white pickup (license plate number 1-00692) armed with machetes, hammers, pipes and guns, attacked the marchers of several opposition parties in the Delmas 95 district. The police present on the spot turned a blind eye. A young man was shot dead and one marcher was wounded in the head by a machete. The Haitian police have arrested a demonstrator with machetes at the end of a march in Port-au-Prince.
PHTK protesters launched slaugans against journalist, radio show host Jean Monard Methelus and threw stones on the building, breaking several windows.
On Saturday, May 14, 216, the supporters of former President Martelly shouted slogans against journalist and radio show host Jean Monard Methelus and threw stones on the Radio Caraibes building, breaking several windows. It appears that PHTK, the Political Party of former President Michel Martelly, no longer believes in non-violent protests. The violent protest was led by Fednel Monchery of Repons Peyizan and Jude Lajoie of Platfom Viktwa-- both are defenders of Martelly's handpicked presidential candidate Jovenel Moses. PHTK has already disapproved the audit commission created by the provisional president Privert to check the credibility of the election. The agitators were demanding to continue the controversial election which is presently under the scanner of the verification commission. However, the demonstrators consider this delay caused by the audit/verification is in violation of the accord signed earlier, as it is nothing but a step to cancel the earlier election held in the Martelly regime.
Here is a picture where an Ex Haitian soldier became victim during an anti-government demonstrators.
Martelly was due to leave his office within February 7th, but the squabbled politicians of the country failed to complete the recent election process with a runoff and elect a successor for the outgoing President Martelly. Some of the weak opposition leaders are demanding the comeback of former President Aristide as an interim leader as a replacement. We might remember that Aristide disbanded the Haitian army in 1995 in an attempt to end the military dominance over the Haitian politicians, because it had records of toppling governments since the Haitian independence two centuries earlier. Aristide was twice ousted in coups; lastly he was toppled by a US-backed military coup back in 2004. The politicians are also discussing several other options like appointing a Supreme Court judge or a new prime minister to run an interim government. Last year, Martelly energized the former army men by taking steps to revive the armed forces and he has repeatedly pledged that it would be revived to protect the border, coastlines and the country's few remaining forests. However, as per the news report, the ex-military people were rallying in support of both the outgoing President Michel Martelly and his hand-picked candidate Jovenel Moïse for the next presidential race. While driving through the capital in convoys, some of them were waving weapons and firing into the air. The victim was carrying a small card bearing the image of ruling-party candidate Jovenel Moise.
Here is a picture of the former governor of BNH, Fritz Jean, on October 7, 2012 as he was protesting in the streets in Cap-Haitian with several hundreds of people protesting against the administration of Michel Martelly. During an interview as he was protesting, Mr. Fritz Jean confirmed that the protest initiated by the people against the government of Michel Martelly is legitimate and that his presence among the protesters as an economist means that he is observing the condition of the population
Have you ever wondered why people in Haiti start their protest march the way they do?
'Damballah' is one of the most important of all the loa, the father of all the rest of the loa and the oldest of the voodoo pantheon existing from the beginning of time. It is the 'great master', creator of life that rules mind, wisdom and cosmic equilibrium and often called the most important god of the voodoo. Voodoo is the predominant religion of Haiti. The spirits are central to the practice of voodoo. This religion is a mixture of religions from Africa and Catholicism. Many Christian beliefs, traditions and figures have been incorporated into voodoo. 'Damballah' is the source of peace and tranquility. In Haiti, Damballah is known to be a very wise and pure lwa (or Loa, the spirits of Haitian Voodoo). Ayida-Weddo, the rainbow, is the wife, perfect mate and regular companion of Damballah. 'Their combined presence has the ability to calm the crowds, relax the senses and bring positive changes. 'Damballah Wedo', is represented by a snake or serpent; when it possesses a human, the person cannot speak but only hisses and whistles.
Damballa is protective, wise, benevolent and loving. Aida-Wedo, the Lwa of rainbows, or the rainbow serpent is the symbol of integration. In Haiti, protest usually begins with Damballah Wedo' symbol. Firstly, someone from the protesting crowd draws the voodoo symbol of "Damballah-Wedo" in the middle of the street, then a campfire is set at the center of the sign and the protesters participate in song while turning around the fire. Damballah with superhuman power possess the ability to tap and manipulate certain occult energies; can bestow power to his mortal followers.
Here is a picture of a CIMO officer shot during Haiti Protest.
Violence Continues Over Final Results. The final tabulation of election results is wreaking havoc in Haiti. The PEC announced Martelly's pick, Jovenel Moise, placed first (33%) and Jude Celestin second (25%). They will compete in December's run-off.
Peaceful protests have turned violent whenever the opposition encounters government supporters. Not only have protestors been injured and killed, the Haitian police have also been targets. The media reports one officer injured by gunfire, and another hurt by hurled rocks.
The PEC urges calm.
Here is a pictur of former Senator Moise Jean Charlesas he was wounded during a protest taking place on November 18, 2015.
Since the publication of preliminary results between November 5th and 12th, at least twenty protest demonstrations have been organized in 7 days. Some of the main claims associated with these 20 demonstrations were: Complaints of expulsion from the electoral race; Denunciation of handling of the minutes; Denunciation of ballot stuffing; and Release of Pitit Dessalines supporters, arrested and held in custody. Teams of researchers with supports of Brazil-based Igarape Institute have conducted two surveys, one immediately following the election on October 25th and another on November 5th, after the announcement of preliminary results. Eighty two percent of the exit poll voters were agreed on the Election Day that the election was fair, there was no fraud. However, when the same voters were asked after the result on November 5th, Ninety percent of them said they now disagree with the earlier statement.
Here is a picture of Senator Steven Benoit as he was wounded by rubber bullet during protest.
The Government of the Republic of Haiti has expressed its anxiety over the issue that different demonstrations organized to challenge the results of recent elections are becoming increasingly violent, defying all the code of conduct for peaceful demonstrations. On November 18, 2015, one of such demonstrations has even vandalized the noble inaugural ceremony of the renovated historic site of the 'Battle of Vertières' on the day of its 212th anniversary. The protesters disobeyed the separators marking the boundary of protests and forcefully wanted to enter the premises of CEP. On November 18, 1803, Haiti won Independence from France in The Battle of Vertières. The enslaved Africans successfully led a revolution for their freedom in a two month long battle to become the first country in the world history to ban slavery and become the world's first Independent Black republic.